In my research of Naples, I happened upon the Partenope Relais on the waterfront. Intrigued by the fact that it was only 24 boutique styled rooms on one floor, I was sold on the theme – the movies. Each room would have a famous scene from the actor or director in it. It seemed interesting and perfect for me – boutique hotel and movies, just add popcorn and I’d be even happier.
The hotel is situated on the beginning section of the pedestrian only waterfront of Naples – via Partenope. The cab ride from the airport is a flat (fixed) rate of €23 to the hotel and the entrance is past the area for cars so you do need to carry your bags a few feet and up one step into the hotel.
The waterfront location is chock full of restaurants (not especially high-end but with the pizza, pasta, sandwiches and gelato you would expect on a heavily visited area) as well as a major tourist site, Castel Novo (free to enter).
The Old Town of Naples is a good walk (about 35 minutes or so, quicker if you dodge traffic like I did in the winding streets) and full of people (think NYC Times Square on a Saturday night and then add in strollers, slow walkers, tourists taking photos, street performers, etc. each slowing you down on Toledo). The Garibaldi train station is a bus ride away (about 30 minutes stuffed with people as the max is 70 standing!) or a €15 taxi ride. I went by bus to and taxi back. If you want to use a taxi, there is a stand about 5 minutes away and you will need to haggle – while I was told €10 is maximum to pay, I could never get the driver down to that, he opened with €20 and I started getting out of cab to get it to €15 when I needed to get somewhere. I tried to walk everywhere if I could.
There is a small two person desk as you enter and the lobby consists of two chairs and a table with a small elevator. Check-in was less than a minute – I handed over my passport so they could make a copy (standard practice in Europe) and he told me (and my luggage) to take the elevator and he would meet me at my room as he used the white stairs (which I would use everyday too).
Showing me around the features of the room and explaining that the internet was accessible for my room (I had my own hi speed internet and wasn’t sharing it – each room had their own account that seemed to be tied to the Sky TV cable I believe). So in less than five minutes from my “Buon Giorno” I was in my nicely air-conditioned room with a balcony view of the bay.
Room 102 – Woody Allen
It was larger than I expected as I booked the Double/Twin Room with Partial Sea View (Single Use). I was greeted with a classic scene from “Annie Hall” above the bed.
Note: The bed was so comfortable and the room dark (black out curtains) and quite (soundproofing) that I slept so well it was hard to move in the morning to go explore the city.
Hardwood floors made it seem bigger. Facing me was the queen bed, to my right an area for luggage with shelves, hangers and two drawers.
On my left was a chair and if I turned to the corner the mini-bar, work desk, coffee maker and cabinet with safe. The large window/door to the balcony was on a wheel that opened widely in.
I could sit on the balcony on the side of the building and look at the street or water. There are four rooms with “partial views”, mine was one of them which was fine.
High ceilings and dual lighting made it a nice space. The contemporary fixtures and the rain shower were quite nice. The toiletries were local (I definitely chipmunked the soap).
Breakfast is Included
A large breakfast buffet was served in the ground floor affiliated restaurant (they also provide room all day room service). They offered breads, meats, cheeses, scrambled eggs, bacon (ham), and a variety of cereals, cakes (love dessert for breakfast), fruits and so much more. You just helped yourself and the waiter would get you coffee, tea, cappuccino, expresso or fresh OJ.
With only one floor for the hotel, there wasn’t much in the way of amenities although I did happen upon the lounge area with computers for use. It seemed a relaxing space if you needed it but with free, strong, dedicated Wi-Fi in your room, I’m not sure if this space gets used or not (maybe for groups?)
The front desk was very patient with me and my many queries. They happily provided maps and commonsense advice (i.e. – take bus around the corner for one euro vs. a twenty euro cab) as well as when prodded (me: where would you take you mom to eat around here if at all? Front desk: the pub!).
Hotel Pet Peeve
One of my pet peeves is when housekeeping changes the soap and toiletries each day after only one use. This is such a waste when I know I could use it for the entire stay. I did mention this to the front desk and the next day I got to keep my toiletries.
The Partenope Relais was a really nice boutique hotel stay with great views. I got the last room on booking.com – the rate was €155.50 per night which included breakfast and Wi-Fi (the hotel website had a higher rate). There is a weird Italian hotel tax of €2.50 per stay you need to pay in cash when you leave. I’d happily stay here again because it was so comfortable, quiet and less chaotic than the old town.